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The Bills first team defensive line has looked very good in the preseason, allowing just 88 rushing yards in 3 games.[/caption]
Please. Don’t be that guy. Yes, the Bills are 0-3. Yes, Ryan Fitzpatrick is struggling. Yes, the defense gave up a 98-yard touchdown drive against the Steelers on Saturday. And yes, it is the preseason.
I’m not going to tell you that the preseason doesn’t matter, but I am going to tell you that it doesn’t count. If your team is 4-0 or 0-4 in the preseason, they are still 0-0 in the regular season. The preseason doesn’t count, but it does matter. The preseason is like practice, except you get to hit a different team for 4 quarters. You want to get into a rhythm as a team and avoid injuries. The Bills have done a great job so far of avoiding the injury bug (knock on wood), however the rhythm part isn’t quite there.
In last Saturday’s game, often seen as the dress rehearsal for the regular season, Ryan Fitzpatrick started the game 4-6 for 61 yards but finished just 3-12 for 28. He and Stevie Johnson just didn’t seem to be on the same page. Would I like to see Fitz tear it up in the preseason? Of course, but that’s not who he is. We already knew he wasn’t a top notch QB. He’s erratic. Fitz is a new age gunslinger. He throws the ball all over the place but makes good decisions. Through 3 preseason games he has thrown 43 passes, none of which were interceptions. He will never be an Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady, so we have to take the 4-6 and just deal with the 3-12.
This preseason the Bills have tried a number of things that you could only do in the preseason. The first game, Chan Gailey had Fitz call all his own plays for the two series he was in for. In the second game, the defense experimented by letting the safeties wear the radio helmets (usually worn by a linebacker) and call out the defensive plays. That’s what the preseason is for. If you experiment like that in a regular season game, it could be costly.
Don’t look too much into the stats of the preseason. Look deeper and see the little things that go on. Like the play of rookie LT Cordy Glenn. He has protected Fitz’s blindside well enough to earn the starting LT job. How about the defensive line play? The Bills first team defense has allowed just 88 rushing yards in 3 games. The Bills struggled last year in stopping the run, allowing 139 yards per game, 28th
in the league. They have also allowed just 2 rushing touchdowns and have accumulated 4 sacks in the past two games, including two by Mario Williams.
When it comes to the preseason, don’t jump to conclusions. Look at the whole picture, because when the season starts you don’t want to be the guy who gave up in the preseason. Don’t be that guy.